Pretty much my whole life my brothers have poked fun of my affection for sparkly things. They even joked I would like the glitter box better than the present that is in it. #truth Things haven’t changed much except my affection has turned to expensive sparkly boxes like clutches. And no one is doing the glitter clutch like Edie Parker.
Founder and Creative Director of Edie Parker, Brett Heyman, started collecting vintage acrylic clutches worn by showgirls and socialites in the ’50’s and ’60’s, but after becoming almost impossible to find Heyman started the line. Edie Parker clutches are handmade in the U.S. using original techniques from the 50’s – pouring acrylic into sheets, cutting out the pieces, and assembling them with special glue.
Learning that Edie Parker uses old school techniques, I wanted to find out more about the history of the glam clutches that inspired Heyman…
Lucite was developed by the American chemical company, DuPont. It successfully replaced earlier plastics like Bakelite and Catalin from the 30’s and 40’s because of its low density and high strength. Lucite was used primarily for World War II, but became readily available after the war and replaced materials like leather and metal that were restricted during the war. Will Hardy, man behind Wilardy handbags, even salvaged materials from the damaged nose cones of airplanes that had been scrapped after WWII. In the late ’40’s, New York handbag companies hopped on the plastics bandwagon and released lines of Lucite purses. By 1950, Miami Beach was a vacationing hot spot for retirees and many Florida-based handbag manufacturers sprung up.
Lucite clutches came in a myriad of colors, textures, and embellishments. The purses were unlined in solid or transparent colors. Fancier bags were made of layers of lucite laminated with mother of pearl, mock-tortoise “shell” pattern, glitter, raffia, ribbons, silk flowers, and even real butterflies, while their exteriors were embellished with rhinestones, beads, precious metals, and faux pearls.There were even glow in the dark and three-dimensional carved patterns. Many handbags also included matching compacts or cigarette cases, often mounted directly onto their lids. This shape was inspired by the jewelry boxes of the time. The completely clear purses were often lined with a scarf to conceal the contents of the purse and to match a woman’s outfit.
While I haven’t delved into making my own acrylic clutches just yet, I will gladly hop on the retro clutch train with a simple DIY version…
- 2 x Acrylic frames 5×7
- 2 x Hinges
- 1 x Closure
- Glossy Mod Podge glue
- Adhesive vinyl sheet
- E6000 glue
- Painters tape
- Disposable cup
- Mirror (optional)
- X-acto knife + cutting mat or scissors
1. Apply painters tape to the edges of the frames for a clean edge and less mess.
2. Pour glossy Mod Podge glue into a disposable cup and mix in the glitter. You want the glue to glitter ratio to be about 1:1 for full coverage. Paint one layer of glitter glue mix over the frames, immediately sprinkle a layer of glitter over the front and back, and then paint another layer of glitter glue mix on the frames. The mix will be extra thick so use the paint brush to smooth it out for an even finish. Let the frames dry completely. You can tell when the glue is dry when it turns from white to clear. Check the glue from the inside of the frames too.
When it comes to choosing the glitter, get creative! Have fun with mixing sizes, shapes and color of the glitter! I used two sizes of silver round glitter. I love the dynamic look it created!
3. Once the glue is dry, peel off the painters tape. If glitter glue mix created an uneven edge, use scissors to trim off the excess.
4. For the vinyl, there are two ways to create your appliqués. Create a stencil by printing off an image, cut it out, and trace it on the back of the vinyl. Or draw directly on the back of the vinyl. Use an X-acto knife or scissors to cut out the vinyl appliqués. To create the same look on both sides of the clutch be sure to flip the stencil and cut out the appliqué to mirror the original.
5. Peel off the backing of the vinyl and adhere it to the frames. Apply 2-3 layers of Mod Podge over and around the applique. If the adhesive is not sticking well, then paint a layer of glue on the back of the vinyl and apply.
6. To keep the clean lines of the clutch, glue the hinges on the inside of the clutch. Unfortunately, I had this AH-HA moment after I already glued the hinge and taken pictures. So ignore the image and glue the hinge on the inside! Lay the top and bottom with the inside facing up and two long sides next to each other. Add a dot of glue to each side on the hinge, bend the hinge over the edges, and apply to the clutch.
Will you step up your clutch game with a DIY glitter box clutch?